There are some ingredients that are not soluble into water.

For them, some biological solvents are useful like mineral spiritsThis is a petroleum-based product which we commonly use to dilute paintsSometimes we use it to clean the paintbrushes tooBut they are highly inflammable as well as contaminating.

How to Clean Brushes with Mineral Spirit?

While you can use mineral spirit to dilute paints, then it is obvious that it is capable of cleaning the brushes too which we use to paint different objects. Since the paints are made of oily substances that stick to different objects easily, they are only soluble to these kinds of biological solvents. So here are some tips to clean brushes with mineral spirit.

  • After you finish painting with the brush, you need to rinse the excess paint carefully. Then take some mineral spirit into a cup or a glass.
  • Now put the brush into the glass so that the bristles get into the spirit and leave it for some time.
  • Eventually, the paint will get diluted into the mineral spirit. Now take the brush out of the spirit and rub the bristles gently with a wire comb.
  • Now after you take out the brush, use a paper towel to wipe the solvent out of it. You can repeat the process if you see any residue in the brush and continue it until the brush is fully cleaned.

How to Use Mineral Spirit?

We call mineral spirit as white spirit too. It is actually painted thinner and a mild solvent. It can dilute oil-based materials like oil-based paints as well as grease. Generally, we use this white spirit to clean industrial machinery and parts. We can use this material as a cheap alternative to the vegetable-based turpentine. For some materials, water doesn’t work as a solvent. Thus they need organic solvents to dilute them. In these situations, the mineral spirit is very useful.

  • One more advantage of this mineral spirit is it is less flammable than the vegetable-based turpentine oil. It is less toxic too. The artists can use this mineral spirit to take out paints from the artworks as they don’t leave residual sulfur.
  • Mineral spirit is very useful in the laundries too. Since they are the solvent of the oil-based materials, the washermen use this to clean the stains of grease and other oil-based materials.
  • The spirit that the artists use in their work is odorless. The chemical manufacturers have developed this odorless material-removing out some highly volatile shorter forms of hydrocarbons.

Other than Mineral Spirit

Other than these mineral spirits has several other uses too which you may not know. When you need to degrease the parts of your car or bike, you can use mineral spirits for this. The grease catches dirt, dust and it loses its functionality due to erosion from the surface of the machine due to continuous friction.

  • You can put the small parts of the vehicle like the ball bearing, into the mineral spirit and can clean it after some hours. On the other hand, for the large machine parts, you can soak a rag into the mineral spirit and can clean it easily.
  • Mineral spirits are very useful in cleaning the paint spills from your floor. You can soak a sponge into the mineral spirit and then can rub on the paint spills to take it off the floor. Not only floors, but it is also useful on tiles, laminated surfaces as well as linoleum and wood too.
  • If you are annoyed with the stains of the glue of the price tag stickers on the cloths, you can easily put some mineral spirit on it and can clean it instantly. Not only from the clothes, but it can also be useful if you will use them on glass, porcelain as well as glazed clay pots to wipe out the mark of glue from the price tag stickers.
  • Not only as a solvent, is mineral spirit equally useful in keeping things clean. You can wipe up the glasses, wooden furniture as well as still furniture too. You can bring back the glaze of your garden chair if you put some mineral spirit into a sponge and rub it up.
  • Since it is not water there is no chance of dampness in the wooden furniture and at the same time, it helps to kill the bacteria as well as fungi if present on the surface.

Can You Burn Mineral Spirit?

You can burn mineral spirits but there are some instances of unpleasant occurrences. Since the mineral spirit is highly flammable, you need to stay very cautious when you are going to set the fire. Otherwise, it may harm you also. It is flammable and can help to burn another thing too. Thus you can experience the release of CO2 and other organic gases from it. If the smoke will get into your nose and from there it gets into your lungs, it may cause you fatigue, vertigo, burning or pain into your nose as well as throat. It also causes breathing problems and throat swelling which will not be a good experience for you.

Can You Put Mineral Spirits Down the Drain?

Mineral spirits are organic solvent which itself is insoluble into water. It also contains several toxic materials that can contaminate the water as well as soil. So the expert’s advice never to put the mineral spirits down the drain.

  • It not only contaminates the water on the earth’s surface, but it also contaminates the groundwater that we bring out with the help of the shallow pumps.
  • Also, it can disturb the quality of water in the water bodies nearby and can cause disturbances in the eco-systems.
  • This can restrict the oxygen to get diluted into the water and the underwater life may face a severe oxygen deficit for them.
  • It also can get into the body cells of the planktons and through the food chain; it will come to our body too. Thus it will cause heavy health hazards.

What can You do with the Old Mineral Spirit?

Many people throw away the mineral spirits just after a single-use. But this only increases the waste of the material. You can use mineral spirit time and again. If you want to reuse it, then let the sludge get deposited under the spirit into the can and then just take the clean spirit out of it. The dirt may take overnight to get accumulated under the glass or the can and then carefully bring out the clean thinner into another can.

Do Mineral Spirits Evaporate?

Being a very volatile solvent, the mineral spirits don’t take very much time to evaporate. So if you leave the containers open, the spirit will evaporate very quickly.

How do You Clean up Mineral Spirit?

As you use mineral spirits continuously, it eventually gets dirty. But if you will throw it away or dispose of it, it will be a waste of the material. You can clean the spirit up and can use it again. To clean up the mineral spirits, you need to leave the dirty spirit in a container for a night long. The dirt will come down slowly and will deposit under the spirit. Now without shaking the container, pour the clean spirit into another container.


  • Mineral spirit is a very cheap alternative to the vegetable-based turpentine.
  • It is an organic solvent and thus the water-insoluble materials get diluted into it.
  • It is highly inflammable and toxic in nature, so don’t throw it into the drain.

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